Songwriting opportunities will come to you more and more as people in the music biz (publishers, artists, producers, other songwriters) think three particular things about you.
The more folks that think these things about you, the more doors are going to open for you, the more inside info you’re going to get, and the more successful you’re likely to become. So what are these three magic beans that can grow your songwriting career? Buckle up, ‘cuz I’m about to drop some serious, deep philosophy on ya. You want people to think…
“I know you.”
“I like you.”
“I trust you.”
There ya go. Are you surprised that these are the keys to the door of opportunity? If so, on behalf of the people of Earth, I welcome you to our planet. I hope you enjoy your visit. While you’re here, I suggest you check out The Grand Canyon and pancakes. If you only have time for one, go for the pancakes.
It’s just simple human nature that people want to work with and help folks they know, like, and trust. Let’s look at each one.
“I know you”
You have to get out there and shake hands- whether in person or digitally. Complete strangers rarely bring good opportunities. (Although there is a promising email in my inbox right now from a prince in Nigeria…) I can’t tell you that a new artist on Sony is looking for your type of song if I don’t know you or what type of music you do. Without someone knowing you, you’ll never get to the next step…
“I like you”
The music biz is rarely like a serious medical condition (I know what you’re thinking- don’t say it) where there’s only one or two doctors in the world who can help. In that case, the doc can be a complete jerk, but you don’t care because he’s the only one who can sew your face back on or whatever. It doesn’t matter if you like him. But that isn’t the case in the music biz where we’re surrounded by talented people. If we’re going to extend a good opportunity, it’s going to be someone we like and can think…
“I trust you”
Let me tell you about my brother-in-law, Matt. I’ve known Matt for over a decade. He’s a great guy. But if I were to get on an airplane and hear his voice come over the intercom saying, “This is your pilot speaking…” I’m getting off the plane! Why? Because I don’t trust him to fly an airplane. He has a lot of skills, but that isn’t one of them. He’s not a good fit for that job. Folks in the biz are less likely to attach their name to you if they don’t trust you for that particular opportunity.
For example, let’s say you’ve had a couple meetings with a publisher. He’s gotten to know you, and he likes you. Awesome. But he doesn’t think your songs are very good. Is he going to set you up on a cowrite with his best hot-streak writer? Probably not. Because he doesn’t trust that you’ll bring the goods. And he doesn’t want Mr. Hot Streak knocking on his door asking why his day got wasted.
See, it takes all three components for the opportunities to really start rolling in. They may start as small opportunities as people get to know you. But if you knock those small opportunities out of the park, people will begin to trust you more often and with bigger opportunities.
More know-like-trust leads to bigger opportunities.
But it all starts with folks getting to know you. So reach out in person at industry events, writers nights, workshops, online groups, etc. Be likable. Then knock their socks off with your songs and professionalism. And enjoy those pancakes.
Knowing the importance of know-like-trust is one way that pro songwriters think. And if you want to become a pro, you need to think like a pro. In my FREE e-book, “THINK LIKE A PRO SONGWRITER,” I not only reveal several of the mindsets which separate the pro songwriter from the amateur, but also…
- How to get on a music publisher’s radar
- How the pros know who is looking for songs
- Six simple ways to make your songs more commercial
- And more!
God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,
Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.